Give a warm welcome to Claire Marti, author of At Last in Laguna! Just released October 18, 2017. I see you brought a guest with you.
Yes, I’ve brought Brandt Dempsey from At Last in Laguna.
Wonderful! Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cauldron, a Bat Wing Chocolate Chip, Pumpkin or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate, and let’s find out a little about Brandt Dempseey and At Last in Laguna. But first Claire, tell us about writing At Last in Laguna. Was it fun or difficult? Do your characters always act as you expect? Are you a plotter, or fly (write) by the seat of your pants?
Actually, this story, my second novel, almost wrote itself. Alyssa and Brandt were percolating under the surface all through Second Chance in Laguna, so I was eager and ready to write their story. I had strong visions of both of them, but they surprised me a few times too. I’d call myself half-plotter/ half-pantster. I need to have a story arc with the major turning points, which can be fluid. I start with the characters. I know the lessons I want each character to learn and how they’ll need to grow in order to earn their happily ever after.
Okay then, lets find out about what makes Brandt tick.
What event in your past has left the most indelible impression on you?
I’m very private about my past, but I’m working on making peace with it, so I’ll share with you. Most people don’t know, but my parents were abusive addicts and my early childhood was brutally tough. When they died, I ended up on the streets and in the foster care system. Luckily, I met my “Uncle John,” a Good Samaritan who helped me get off the street and into school. His kindness and generosity are why I’m here today.
What do you most value?
Loyalty. I don’t have a family, except for the few close friends and Uncle John so, I’ll fiercely protect them and stay true to them no matter what.
What is the type of woman you want to spend the rest of your life with?
I’ll be honest, I never pictured myself in a long-term relationship. I’ve purposefully kept my dating life on the casual level because I’m not marriage material. If I could describe the perfect woman, she’d be intelligent, funny-as-hell, and gorgeous inside and out. Okay, I just described my best friend’s little sister, Alyssa. She’s the marrying type.
What do you consider most important in life?
Making a mark by helping others have a chance at a better life. My new center, Tearmann House, means safe haven in Gaelic. It’s going to be a place where abused women and children who aren’t receiving the assistance they need from the system can find refuge.
What is your biggest secret?
At Nick and Sophie’s wedding, Alyssa took me aside, kissed me, and suggested we have an affair while her brother heads off to his honeymoon. She shocked me and now I can’t fight these feelings she’s unleashed. Nick can’t find out: he asked me to act like a surrogate big brother while he’s gone.
Oh, boy I’d say you’re in deep dodo, Brandt.
How about a little about At Last in Laguna!
Alyssa Morgan has secretly been in love with her older brother Nick’s best friend, Brandt Dempsey, since she was an awkward, lonely teenager. When she catches the bouquet at Nick’s wedding, she throws caution to the wind and propositions Brandt to a two-week fling. He’s tried to ignore how Alyssa has blossomed into a strong, talented, gorgeous woman because as his best friend’s baby sister, she’s off limits.
After they share a mind-blowing kiss, Brandt struggles to fight their undeniable chemistry. His tragic childhood scarred him, but he pushes it deep inside, only allowing the world to see a wealthy, carefree entrepreneur. Forced to work together on Brandt’s latest charitable venture, Brandt and Alyssa’s passion cannot be denied. Alyssa knows he’s the one. Can she convince him they belong together?
A sneak peek between the pages of At Last in Laguna.
What was his deal this morning?
She’d give him the cold shoulder if it killed her.
And it just might.
He’d rejected her, so why was he opening doors, hovering, and acting like a pest? Practically breathing down her neck. She could swear he’d sniffed her. Sniffed her. He couldn’t conceal his awareness. If he were so attracted to her, he would’ve agreed to her proposition, right? Since he’d shot her down in flames, he could at least have the decency to ignore her today. Rude, infuriating man.
Inhaling a deep cleansing breath, she forced herself to concentrate on the center. Sunlight streamed through the abundance of windows and along with the high ceilings imparted a feeling of freedom and space, perfect for the planned occupants. Because they’d decided to wait to obtain her input for the more specific room layout, the building’s interior remained a shell. She’d add to her brother’s amazing design and ensure Tearmann House’s beauty and serenity.
Serenity. What a concept. Ha.
You can find At Last in Laguna at:
About the Author:
Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.
Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga. At Last in Laguna is the second book in her Finding Forever in Laguna series from The Wild Rose Press.
More about Claire:
It was wonderful having you both with us today. Please feel free to stop by anytime. Congratulations and good luck with your new release At Last in Laguna!
Posted in Authors' Secrets Blog and tagged At Last in Laguna, Claire Marti, Contemporary, Romance, Wedding by firstname.lastname@example.org with 18 comments.
Give a warm welcome to Alexandrea Weis, author of Damned, book one of the Blackwell series released October 3, 2017!
Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cauldron, a Bat Wing Chocolate Chip, Pumpkin or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate, and let’s find out a little about Alezandrea and her book Damned!
Alexandrea, what is the paranormal lure of New Orleans?
There are cities that conjure tingles when referenced for their mystique and romance. London, Paris, and New York all bring a smile to the faces of many, but for me, nothing can compare to the sultry breezes and intriguing architecture of New Orleans. Steeped in history, mystery, and a whole lot of sin, it is one of the most original spots on earth. Where old-world blends with modern day, the people, atmosphere, and culture are like no place else. It’s this exotic blend that makes the town such a worthy backdrop for my novel Blackwell. Despite time and the advent of technology, there is a rhythm in New Orleans that seems impervious to change. What was true in the time of Magnus Blackwell is still true today.
However, it’s the darker side of the Big Easy that makes it a pivotal part of Magnus Blackwell’s world. Ghosts, voodoo, and eclectic people have persisted in New Orleans almost as long as the city has been in existence. Murky myths add to its allure and make it a thrilling spot to set any literary adventure.
Famous as the most haunted destination in the United States, residents of New Orleans are as accustomed to ghosts as those in Los Angeles might be to smog, traffic, and noise. The ethereal is woven into the fabric of the dreamy iron balconies and shuttered doorways. Complaints of unintelligible voices, screams, footsteps, and unexplained knocking are as common in early morning banter between neighbors as cordial greetings. When you live in the French Quarter, hearing, “my ghost kept me up all night,” is the norm. Perhaps this is why spectral visitors are just as much a facet of life as red beans and rice on Mondays. And with the rise of haunted tours, ghosts are now big business. Taking what was once an inconvenience and turning it into a cash cow. But ask any of the locals if they would be happier relieved of their supernatural visitors, every single one of them would say no. New Orleans wouldn’t be the same without its ghosts. For those who love the city, it’s reassuring to know you never have to leave it.
Unlike other cities where the topic of voodoo was spoken in hushed whispers, New Orleans readily embraced the religion. The blending of the African and Catholic customs reached its zenith along the Mississippi River. Because of voodoo’s influence in the Crescent City, words such as gris-gris, ju-ju, and voodoo doll were introduced into the American vocabulary. Even famous practitioners of the art became legends. Marie Laveau is still regarded by many as the queen of voodoo. Her annual St. John’s Eve ritual performed on the banks of Bayou St. John continues to this day. And even though her religion has become more commercial that practical, the essence of it adds an air of enchantment to those tightly packed Creole cottages along St. Anne Street. And some insist, on a cold day when the light is right, you can see the regal figure of Ms. Marie strolling along the cracked sidewalks of The Quarter and keeping an eye on her hometown.
Probably the most memorable part of any visit to The Big Easy is the numerous encounters with its Bohemian inhabitants. Their unique character embodies all that is inviting about New Orleans. From quirky traditions to flamboyant celebrations, everything this town encompasses comes alive in its citizens. When life and death are celebrated with the same exuberance, one can’t help but be enchanted. There is something about the people that gets under your skin. A haven for writers, poets, artists, and musicians, the creative pulse resonates through every cobblestone of Jackson Square. Maybe this is why New Orleans has been the setting for so many great stories. Like a heady gumbo, it stirs the soul. Reason enough to make it one of the settings in my book.
There are many delights and a few dangers in New Orleans, but despite everything, it is a place where the impossible can seem probable. I can think of nowhere else to set the dark and sinister tale of Blackwell. It is a bastion where lost souls can find rest, forbidden religions can influence a culture, and people are encouraged to march to a different drum. All that is extraordinary defines this fabulous city, and all who embrace it are touched by magic.
Lexie awoke with a start from a sound sleep. Gaping into the blackness of the strange bedroom, she discovered the storm had abated and she detected the creaks and groans of the old house. Then a crack from the floorboards made her flinch.It came from Will’s side of the bed. She reached out to shake him, but he didn’t move.
She received a muffled grunt.
Another crack in the floor, but this time it happened right next to her side of the bed. An odor lingered in the air.
Is that coffee?
A column of light glittering to her left made Lexie’s mouth go dry. The oddity soon took on the shape of a man.
His strong frame, long arms, and tapered hands came into view. Good-looking, despite the cruel curl of his lips, his chiseled features, and engaging eyes, made her insides tingle. But when the cut of his old-fashioned red vest, long black coat, and white ascot tie took shape, Lexie understood this wasn’t some hazy fantasy. She didn’t fantasize about men from another century.
Lexie clutched her bedsheet as a fearful scream rose in her throat.
“Please, my dear, don’t bore me with your petty shrieks,” the figure said, his tone condescending.
Like a lightbulb getting enough electricity to reach its wattage, his image brightened, bringing out his details. Lexie scrutinized the buttons on his coat, the fine craftsmanship of his high black boots, and grasped the identity of her visitor.
Then a loud pop rang out, and he was gone. It happened so fast, Lexie questioned if it had happened at all.
“Welcome to Altmover Manor, Ms. Arden.” She recognized the voice of the apparition. “I hope you enjoy your stay.”
This time, Lexie did not hold back her scream, and as she opened her mouth …
Posted in Authors' Secrets Blog and tagged Alexandrea Weis, Damned, Paranormal, Romance, Supernatural Thriller by email@example.com with no comments yet.
Give a warm welcome to Bri Clark, author of Witch’s Eternal, soon to release on October 31, 2017! Be sure to read to the end and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!
Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cauldron, a bat wing Chocolate Chip or Pumpkin, or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate. Let’s find out a little about
Three Halloween Points to Consider from a Psychic Medium
There’s a tingle in the air when leaves are changing, even electricity. This transition of the seasons is energetic and has a grand effect on people. For example, the pumpkin spice craze. That’s not just marketing that’s energy. Believe me I should know.
Hi, my name is Bri Clark, I’m an author, marketer and a psychic medium. And you are one of the first people to hear me say that in a written public forum. My deepest gratitude goes to you for taking the time to read these words. With that said, I’m going to share with you some things about spirits, Halloween, and energy that you may not have put together.
- Like Begets Like: When we start getting toward Halloween then you start seeing an increase of shows and media around the paranormal. Usually it’s the scary that sells the best. You don’t have to be afraid of spirits. But if you are and you surround yourself with that feeling by continuing to entertain the fear it’s just going to get worse. You are going to attract what you fill you time seeking. Call it entertainment or not it’s the law of attraction in play.
- There are ghosts everywhere. You can’t escape them. They are at the gas station, the Walmart, the field outback and even in the latest sky scraper. Are they strong enough or even motivated enough to haunt? It depends. But usually not. As someone who is a medium I can turn up and down my ability to see and hear them. You may be saying what does that have to do with me? It has everything to do with you. If you feel your space invaded by energy you don’t want tell it to go! Say it with gusto and passion. It’s your home. Take it back! It’s that easy. You can add ceremony or sage or whatever you want but the two main ingredients is you and your conviction. So take your space back.
- Harvest a new energy. Far before the time of Trick or Treating and The Blair Witch fall was about the harvest. Bringing in the crops, preparing for winter, and celebrating all the fruits of the labor from the summer. Instead of nurturing a time of scares and fear how about nurturing the feeling of the harvest. Research the history of autumn. Look up old folk lore and traditions and start to create your own. Believe me you’ll feel amazing and others will feel better from your example too. You may already have some in place.
Speaking of new traditions perhaps you’ll want to start a new book. I have one I could suggest, Witch’s Eternal. It’s an amazing story of love, pain, magic, community, family and rising to one’s potential.
A Peek between the pages of WItch’s Eternal!
Lucien heard the intake of her breath, and then the soft pads of her steps approach him. He’d not wanted to ask for help but desperately needed it. The wound in his arm shifted between extreme pain to numbness. Both were equally bad and drained his energy. He knew exactly where she had hid. If the pain wasn’t so bad, he would’ve smiled. He was impressed with her stealth. Attempting a deep breath, he looked up to see what quality of wench lived among these woods. She would have to be single—most likely homely at best. No husband would live here much less allow his wife to wander these woods alone. She would become enchanted with him. Mortal women always did and it ended with their broken hearts—which is why he avoided mortals entirely.
An eternal, especially a clan leader, could not connect themselves romantically to a lesser being. To ensure the continuation of the species of purebloods it was why eternals only procreate with eternal. This fact reminded him of Alastair’s betrayal, adding to his pain.
He reluctantly raised his eyes to inspect her. His breath caught. Thick raven dark locks framed an ivory face with flame red lips, while empathetic emerald eyes surveyed his condition. Wearing a white peasant’s dress, she appeared ethereal moving toward him through the mist. His breath came out in a rush, and his pulse seemed to scream within his skull. Without a word she positioned herself under his bad shoulder and bore his weight. He was astonished a body so small could hold him up. Silently she guided him along. He asked her no questions putting all his energy into moving. The pain was good though. It meant the liquid silver hadn’t been released encasing him in a frozen prison.
The scent of plants he hadn’t encountered in years quickly assaulted his nose. Then the source came into view—a small cottage surrounded by herbs. That’s when it all came into perspective. The woman was a witch, and one of the ancient arts. He stiffened with the realization. She looked up at him with luminous green eyes framed by thick lashes with nothing but concern. He considered he might be wrong. His internal alarm had not sounded. Nevertheless, he’d seen ghastly things done by witches and their herbs, especially the three-prominent species framing her stoop. The pain of the silver arrowhead imbedded in his stiffened muscles and screamed in protest and all his previous thought became a blur.
I want to thank my host,Tena of Authors’ Secrets for having me today. If you want to connect with me further my social media links and website links are below.
It was wonderful having you with us today. Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with Witch’s Eternal!
Posted in Authors' Secrets Blog and tagged ghosts, Halloween, magic, Paranormal, Romance, Witches by firstname.lastname@example.org with 2 comments.
Give a warm welcome to Judy Meadows, author of Escape From Behruz released on April 21, 2017! NOW on sale for 99 cents! What a buy.
Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cooler, a Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate, and let’s find out a little about Judy and Escape From Behruz.
First of all what inspired this particular story?
I love secret baby stories. A woman’s emotions revolving around childbirth—finding out she’s pregnant, being pregnant, giving birth, caring for the new baby—are about as elemental and intense as it gets. And a man’s emotions—finding out he’s going to be a father, watching his partner’s belly grow, feeling the baby move, sharing in labor and birth, getting to know his new baby–are equally intense and elemental. For a woman to intentionally withhold the information that a man is going to be or has become a father is a huge betrayal.
And it’s good material for a story.
What can ruin a secret baby story for me is if the heroine’s motivation for withholding the information is weak (which it often is: i.e. “he would be mad at me”). So…I set out to write a secret baby story that had an unimpeachable motivation for keeping the secret. No one who knows her story will fault this heroine for keeping her secret. (Of course the hero does blame her, but not for long, not when he understands what her reasons were.)
That was the germ that sparked the plot. What could happen that would make it impossible for a woman to let the man she loves know about her pregnancy?
The story is set in a fictional country in the Middle East (located between Iran and Afghanistan). The locale also strongly influenced the plot. I chose the Middle East because I traveled in Iran and Afghanistan in the 70’s and lived in Iran for a year—all before the area was besieged by political turmoil and war. I loved the area and the people. I knew what it was like to be an American woman traveling there. So I made my heroine an American woman and plopped her down in that area.
What secret do you use to blast through writer’s block?
I read! I can open my favorite book on writing, The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Maass, to just about any page, and I’ll be inspired. Good fiction writing, any genre, inspires me. Writing by Rosamunde Pilcher, C.S. Lewis, and Vanessa James all somehow infiltrate my brain with their rhythms and sentence structure and make my writing more fluid.
Did you tell friends and family that you were writing a book? Or did it take a while to come out and tell friends and family you were a writer?
“Coming out” is an apt analogy for what it’s like to tell friends you’re writing a romance novel. I started by telling peripheral people (like someone I met while vacationing in Mexico, someone I was never going to see again). But there came a time when the only explanation for my lack of availability (What was I doing with my time?) was the truth. I’d written a successful nonfiction book by then (Touching Bellies, Touching Lives, about midwives in Mexico) so that helped a little, but what helped the most was joining my local chapter of Romance Writers of America. Being with women who took their craft seriously and supported each other and learned from each other was what gave me the perspective I needed to be proud of the work myself.
What do you want your readers to take away from your books?
First and foremost: intense emotional satisfaction. I want them to really care about the characters and really share in the joy the characters feel when they get their happily-ever-after ending.
Secondly (this wasn’t my intention when I started writing about Behruz but I see it as a possible bonus effect), I hope reading my stories will help readers see past stereotypes about the Middle East. The characters are real people with real puppies and real quirks, talents and dreams.
Do you find it easier to write from a male or female point of view? Why?
Female! I would write from purely the female point of view, but publishers nowadays prefer a balance between the male and female points of view, so I’ve tackled that. I find I can get to know my hero and his motivation by looking at the heroine through his eyes. Why is he attracted to her? What does he long to have happen with her? How does he experience the pain of setbacks? How does it feel to love so deeply? Starting with that, he comes to life for me.
Okay, tell us a little about the story.
Rashid will escort Olivia and the baby through the mountains to Iran in order to escape the violence in Behruz, but he won’t let Olivia near his heart. Not again. Not after the way she trampled it two years ago.
Olivia accepts his help, but she has no interest in his heart. She’s never forgiven him for abandoning her when she needed him most. Still, she has to be careful. He mustn’t learn that the baby the world thinks is heir to the Behruzi throne is actually her son. And Rashid’s.
Can they make it through the trek, sharing a tent each night, without giving in to the attraction that has always drawn them together? Can Olivia hold in the secret that could destroy her?
Ohhh, sounds intriguing. Do you have a sneak peek from the book for us?
Walking toward the tent of her “husband,” Olivia felt like a bride. The mantle framed her face and fell down her back like a bride’s veil, and the long skirt swayed with every step. Rashid stood in front of the tent talking to Saddiq. He was wearing a long shirt and a wool vest like those worn by the other men. He was holding up a rifle, sighting along the barrel. He said something to Saddiq and handed him the rifle; then he turned and saw the procession of women approaching. Time stopped for several heartbeats when his eyes fell on Olivia. He seemed to straighten up, to become taller, and everything about him became very still.
She met his gaze boldly. The petticoats swished around her legs when she walked. She felt the swing of her arms, the sway of her hips, even the slight bounce of her breasts. All the women stood behind her, waiting for Rashid’s reaction.
“Spin around again like you did for us in the tent,” Fatima whispered to Olivia.
Rashid’s nomad clothes made him look primitive and very male. His eyes were intent on her, like the eyes of an animal watching its prey. He was motionless except for a slight quivering of his nostrils.
Olivia lifted her arms slowly, and the women stepped back away from her. Then she began the pirouette. She moved as if in a trance. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. But still the skirt rose, its colors blurring as she spun, and she felt dizzy and flushed when she stopped. She gave Rashid a smile that came from some new knowledge.
“You are a temptress,” he said in English. His eyes were dark pools that beckoned her to tempt and be tempted.
“The ladies are waiting to see what you think of their handiwork.”
He stepped toward her and reached his hand up to touch her face at her temple. Then he slid it down until it cupped the nape of her neck. A shiver of response rippled through her, but she didn’t move.
“She is very beautiful,” he said in Farsi. “The costume is perfect. She is perfect.” He kissed her lightly on the lips. The speculations and remarks of the nomads hushed. A crow cawed in the distance, and then it was silent too. She was mesmerized. She felt possessed.
About the Author:
I grew up and went to college in Minnesota but now live in a small town in Oregon with my husband Jim. I love to travel, read, hang out at the beach, cook, and play with grandchildren. I’ve always loved cats, but sadly find myself catless at the moment. Our 19-year-old Simba and 17-year-old Tinker Bell both died last year.
I worked as a systems analyst for IBM when I finished college. When I retired from that field, my husband and I bought a farm in northern California. We grew apples, Asian pears, and raspberries for ten years before retiring again, this time to Oregon.
When our only child was a senior in high school, we adopted a 10-year-old girl from a Russian orphanage. I spent two weeks in Moscow finalizing the adoption and then came home to start the parenting thing for a second time.
When our Russian daughter was settled into the family, I trained to become a doula and volunteered to help Spanish speaking women in labor at the hospital across the street from our home. Soon I was very busy. After a few years of doing pro bono work, I made a website and began to work as a doula professionally.
During 20 years of working as a doula, I’ve helped 460 women in labor. My second romance novel, Midwife in Behruz (sequel to Escape from Behruz) features a midwife and uses my experience with childbirth. I’ve just finished Midwife in Behruz and am beginning to plot the final book in what will be a trilogy of stories set in Behruz.
It was wonderful having you with us today. What an interesting life you’ve led Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with the 99 cent sale on Escape From Behruz.
Posted in Authors' Secrets Blog and tagged Adventures, Behruz, Contemporary, Judy Meadows, Romance by email@example.com with 33 comments.